Richard C. AtkinsonThe information in this biography was supplied by the subject.Richard C. Atkinson, seventeenth president of the University of California, took office on October 1, 1995. Before becoming president of the UC System he served for fifteen years as chancellor of UC San Diego, where he led that campus's emergence as one of the leading research universities in the nation.
Atkinson is a former director of the National Science Foundation, past president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, former chair of the Association of American Universities, and was a long-term member of the faculty at Stanford University. His research in the field of cognitive science and psychology has been concerned with problems of memory and cognition. He has also been interested in the more applied problems of learning in the classroom, and developed one of the first computer-controlled systems for instruction, which served as a prototype for the commercial development of computer-assisted instruction in the primary grades.
Atkinson was chairman of the National Research Council's Board on Testing and Assessment and continues to serve as a member. In addition, he was a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Educational Testing Service and was a member of the Board of Trustees of the American College Testing Program, Inc. He is member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Education, the American Philosophical Society, and a mountain in Antarctica has been named in his honor.